tv Chamber of Commerce Forum on Infrastructure CSPAN May 15, 2017 8:59am-12:01pm EDT
infrastructure is vital to every community, every american. our roads and rails, ports and pipes, airports and aqueducts. infrastructure supports our jobs. it connects us to our families, our communities, and the global economy. it keeps the lights on in our homes, the water flowing through our faucets and our farms. for too long these infrastructure systems have been failing to serve the american people. roads are left in decay, water used long past their designed life span and our aviation is stretched to capacity. we have to do better. few things bring americans together more than infrastructure. few issues have as much support. for the last five years, infrastructure week has convened the nation's broadest coalition of infrastructure stakeholders. we bring together the engineers and workers who build our infrastructure with manufacturers and retailers,
commuters and travelers whose jobs and lives depend on it. and we bring together local, state and national leaders working to build america's infrastructure future. our message in 2017 is, it's time to build. good morning, ladies and gentlemen. good morning. i'm suzanne clark, senior evp here at the u.s. chamber, and i am delighted to welcome you here today. now, when you have my job, you get to be in this room and say that sentence a lot. but i actually mean it today, or mean it more than usual. not just because you're such a charming audience but because i started my career at the american trucking associations, and you just don't really ever get it out of your blood, i don't think. so this is an important topic at the right time, so thank you so much for being here.
thank you to our partners, thank you to our sponsors. thank you to ed mortgaimer. we're lucky to have him. the chamber is a founding sponsor of i week. by the way, does anybody say that besides us? is that a thing? we're a founding sponsor of i week and we're paroud to be par of the bipartisan committee and proud to see how this has grown in scope and programatic activity every year. you all know more about infrastructure than i will ever learn, so i don't have to tell you what a big problem this is for our country. it's a nationwide challenge, so it has to be a nationwide conversation. over the next five days, businesses around the nation will gather and focus on infrastructure with government officials at some 100 events
nationwide. chicago, boston, las vegas, salt lake, l.a., austin, and right here in the nation's capitol. through all of our activities as you just heard in this video, we will send a strong and unified message which is, it is time to build. ladies and gentlemen, that time is now. we have a once-in-a generation opportunity to make major progress in modernizing our nation's infrastructure, and we must seize it with urgency. we've had the need to build for years. we've all read the grim statistics. we've seen the failing grades. we've sat in the gridlock. we've experienced the delays, and we've witnessed too many tragedies because of our failure to maintain critical infrastructure. what we have now is bipartisan buy-in, political will and leadership to do something about it. the president has pledged action and the public supports it.
in fact, we just conducted a new poll with morning consult, and the poll revealed that 70%, 70% of americans surveyed want the federal government to invest in infrastructure. and by similar margins, americans understand that infrastructure investment will strengthen the economy, help businesses, and create jobs. we've heard the same message all over the country as we've toured on our growth tour talking to small and medium size business leaders. in short, the public knows that infrastructure is important and worth the investment. so with the political stars aligni aligning, long-term, strategic investment in rebuilding our country is now possible. we've got to make the most of this moment. it starts right here, right now, with each of you. over the course of today's program, we'll hear from a very distinguished lineup of leaders and experts from a range of industries and from across the political spectrum. to get things started, let's hear a special message from a
long-time partner and a leading advocate for infrastructure. would you please roll the video. >> good morning. i'm president of the aflcio. welcome to infrastructure week 2017. i want to thank my friend and partner, tom donohue, for his commitment to rebuilding america. we started this campaign five years ago to raise awareness about our infrastructure needs, and we've done exactly that. now is the time for our leaders to act. if they build it, it will come. good jobs, higher wages, economic growth. but this isn't field of dreams, and instead of building, we've been discussing and delaying. it's time to build. every day we wait is an opportunity lost. in his address to a joint session of congress, president trump proposed $1 trillion in
infrastructure investment. now, that's the right scale. in fact, it should probably be even bigger. so my question to the white house and congress is this: where is the bill? it's go time. bring legislation to the floor, and the labor movement will help to pass it. all we ask is that it's done the right way with robust public funding and high labor standards supporting american jobs, american resources and american steel. business and labor are divided on a lot of issues, but infrastructure is not one of them. the american people want us to build, and they want us to build today. roads, bridges, schools, water, sewer, electricity, you name it. our mandate is clear. our unity is strong. it's time to build.
so let's get to work. [ applause ] >> i'd sure like to hear from rich trumka at the chamber. it sort of wakes us up in the morning, wonder who left the door open. but we're honored to work together with him and the labor union leaders in this country on one of the fundamental realities we face, and that is how do we rebuild america's infrastructure. so, one thing is certain. if trumka and i can agree on this issue, this is surely the one that we will work on vigorously and continually. i'm proud that rich and the afl-cio and the whole labor movement, terry, and thank you for being here, are our partners in this endeavor. as suzanne said a minute ago, a
lot of others are lining up, too. it's about time. i've been fighting for infrastructure for many years. remember, i used to be at the american trucking associations. in all my time in washington, it's hard to think of another movement when the potential for real and meaningful progress on infrastructure has been so great. i'm not saying it's going to be easy or quick, not by a long shot, but it's possible and it's likely. so now we've got to welcome this challenge and figure out how to make it work. the debate over what an infrastructure package should be, how it should be paid for and what it should achieve is heating up. we're looking forward to hearing the administration's perspective from secretary of transportation elaine chao in just a moment. as she said on television yesterday, this is an emerging
perspective, more to come in the immediate future. the chamber is ready to work closely with her and with leaders at both ends of pennsylvania avenue to get this done. this morning, i want to very quickly lay out three priorities for on infrastructure package we believe will be key to success. one is it's got to be about economic growth. i'm not talking about a sugar rush of spending that feels good in the moment but is gone before you know it. i'm talking about serious strategic investments that support our nation's long-term growth and competitiveness. and that means taking on the big projects, the ones that will connect our country from one end to the other the way the trance continental railroad did in the 19th century, the ones that will broaden the physical platform of our economy the way the interstate highway system did in
the 20th century. our investments today must support our 21st century economy and its evolving needs. so we must focus on building or rebuilding highways and bridges, airports and sea ports, rail lines and water ways, tapipe lis and power grids and a broadband network that will connect our nation digitally as well as physically. by the way, we have to build one that they can't break into so easily. projects should be selected and funded based on their potential to support long-term economic growth, not based on the speed at which they can be completed. and we must prioritize them based on what helps the entire country, not what serves parochial politics. now, big plans require deep pockets. so the second priority is creating a broad tool kit of public and private financing.
there's $250 billion in global private capital available for infrastructure investment. my own view, there's a lot more than that. domestically here in the united states and available from investors all over the world. we need to remove barriers to getting that money. tax-preferred financing federal loan programs and private partnerships could jump start that investment. you should think about it this way. i just did a tv thing a little while ago. most people don't go out and buy a house and pay cash. most people don't go out and buy a car and pay cash. they go out and buy those long-term investments and agree to pay a certain amount of cash over time. and that's what we have to do to finance these projects. we need more public money, but it has to be the amount of money that helps us pay down those
long-term investments. we all cheered passage of fast act last year, a six-year highway bill, but after 36 short-term extensions over ten years, that was a huge victory. but the underlying problem with the solvency of the highway trust fund, those problems haven't gone away. it doesn't win me many popularity contests, but i continue to call for a modest increase in the federal fuel tax. for 24 years we have not increased it, so it's half of what it was before when you figure the miles per gallon. and let's get down to the issue if we're going to have a mortgage on our house, we got to pay it every month or every year. it was welcoming news when the president recently expressed his openness to consider such a solution. it just makes sense. there might be other solutions, so let's explore them as well. let's put the options on the table.
when it comes to the full breadth of infrastructure projects that we all envision, we should also consider how existing programs can be used and if necessary, improved. the bottom line is we can't make the dash without the cash. the third priority is to adopt needed reforms to ensure the right projects get done and in a timely, transparent and cost effective way. and you all know that we need greater accountability in congress to focus on the best practices and improve the issues on permitting and on followup and transparency. that's key to attracting private investment, ladies and gentlemen. they want to know that their money is going to what they agreed for and that it's going to be spent accordingly. finally, we must invest in the future. technology and innovation will
increasingly transform every facet of our economy, so we've got to equip our infrastructure now for these new advances. and by the way, the rule-making process must be quick and nimble to keep up with rapid paces of innovation. at the chamber, we're confident that if an infrastructure package is built around these priorities, it will gander the support needed to move the congress. and most importantly, it will achieve the goal of building a modern, efficient infrastructure system. maybe the secretary of transportation, with her influence at home and abroad, will be able to find a way that we can have some sort of credit for the members of the congress for the things that are built in their communities. so let me stress, again, it won't be fast, it won't be easy, but kicking the can down the road isn't acceptable. it's time to get started, and
it's time to do it now. so let me this morning introduce the woman who is going to be in charge of much of what we hope will be achieved here. we're privileged to hear from one of the leaders who will be at the very center of this debate, secretary of transportation elaine chao. this is the first time we're hosting secretary chao in her new role, but she's no stranger to the chamber or the business community. our relationship goes all the way back to when she was deputy secretary of transportation. that was shortly after christopher columbus came. well, at least for me. she was very young at the time. we continue working closely with her when she was secretary of labor. she has been a dedicated champion for american workers, making strong and measurable progress to protect their health, safety, and retirement security.
and we know that she's going to be just as dedicated and effective in her new role. i can't think of anyone better suited to lead the infrastructure conversation currently unfolding here and around the country than secretary chao. she's got the experience. she's got the ideas. she's got the grit and the determination to see them through. she and her team have been hard at work trying to get their team together and working on this proje project, and the business community and our partners are ready to lend a hand. so please join me in welcoming secretary elaine chao, a good friend and a great leader for this project. [ applause ] >> thank you, tom, for that very gracious introduction, even though you said that it was the
columbus -- christopher columbus era. but that's okay. and a very special thank you to you and all the other friends of infrastructure for putting together this series of events all across the country, highlighting our infrastructure challenges. as you know so well, infrastructure is the back bone of our world class economy, one of the most productive, flexible and dynamic in the world. it is a key factor in productivity and economic growth which has provided millions of hard working americans with the standard of living that is truly the envy of the world. and it has also provided our country with unprecedented mobility, safety and security. and yet today, these gains are threatened by crumbling infrastructure that is increasingly congested, in need of repair, and unable to keep
pace with technological change. now we are fortunate to have a president who understands the challenges of infrastructure perhaps better than any other leader in recent memory. he has made revitalizing, repairing and building our country's infrastructure one of his top priorities. and the administration will share its vision of what the infrastructure plan will look like in the next several weeks, which will kick off our collaboration with congress. to put the proposal together, the white house launched a wide-ranging consultative process, and this has included an interagency task force consisting of 16 federal government agencies, including transportation, omb, treasury, commerce, interior, epa,
agriculture, labor, energy, the department of defense, veterans affairs, the council of environmental equality in the white house, the education department and others. and meetings and consultations with many governors, mayors, state and local leaders and private sector stakeholders have occurred as well. it's important to hear from this myriad of stakeholders and not repeat the mistakes of the past. and as omb director mulvaney recently announced, the new infrastructure plan will include $200 billion in direct federal funds. these funds will be used to leverage $1 trillion in infrastructure investments over the next ten years. omb is identifying offsets in order to avoid saddling future
generations with more debt. and that's why a key feature of the infrastructure plan will be unleashing the billions of dollars in private capital available for investment in infrastructure. during this consultative process, investors have told us again and again that there is ample capital available waiting to invest in infrastructure. a major problem is the delay caused by government permitting and approval processes which hold up projects for years, even decades. these delays increase the cost and increase the risk, adding, again, uncertainty and billions and billions of dollars to the projects. that's why another key part of this administration's infrastructure plan will include
common sense, regulatory, administrative, organizational, and policy changes to speed project delivery and reduce uncertainty. many of the departments and agencies mentioned in the interagency task force will have a role in addressing these issues. the department of transportation has already initiated an internal regulatory review process. the federal highway administration, for example, has taken first steps to reduce the regulatory burden and is looking for more ways to speed things up. a task force on regulatory reform at the department of transportation has been assembled that has identified many additional legislative and regulatory changes that could streamline project approval.
streamlining the regulatory process not only cuts costs, it can improve environmental outcomes by delivering infrastructure improvements more quickly, and spending resources on actual environmental mitigation rather than stacks of paperwork. to illustrate what is possible, let me refer you to the pictures on the big screen of the i-85 bridge that recently collapsed in atlanta, georgia on march 31st, 2017. am i going to get pictures th e there? this picture shows the collapsed bridge, and the second picture shows the new bridge which was just replaced in just 49 days.
a team from the u.s. department of transportation was on the ground almost immediately after the incident and within 12 hours, the department had delivered $10 million in emergency relief funds to help replace the bridge. a supply chain located within two hours of the site was quickly identified, and federal regulatory requirements were expedited to ensure timely execution of contracts and funding. now of course, replacing a structure is not the same as starting a project from scratch. i-85 in georgia was an emergency situation, and it's not possible to slash the time for federal requirements on every project from years to months.
but there is much room for improvement. i-85 in atlanta is an example of what can be accomplished with federal, state and local governments working together. as we begin to implement this administration's infrastructure reforms, a new paradigm will hopefully be created. and this paradigm will shift the focus beyond what is being built to how projects are being funded and financed. so for example, states and low cal calties that have secured some funding and financing of their own for infrastructure projects will be given higher priority access to new federal funds, and the goal is to use federal funding as an incentive to get projects under way and built more quickly, with greater participation by state, local
and private partners. this approach is in line with studies that show that federal spending often substitutes rather than augments state and local funding on infrastructure. that was a conclusion of a 2004 gao report on highway spending. it found that the state and localtites studies used federal dollars to replace rather than supplement what they would have otherwise spent. the administration would like to avoid that outcome. currently less than one-fifth of all infrastructure spending is federal. the rest comes from state, local and private sources. this administration wants to retain t retain state and local spending and use federal funding as
leverage to increase the total amount of funding available for infrastructure. at the same time, everyone recognizes that there is no one size fits all revenue model for infrastructure projects. toll roads, for example, may work well in urban areas where they generate consistent revenue because of high traffic and high demand. but lower demand on rural roads may not generate enough revenue to repay private investment. this administration is committed to an infrastructure package that addresses the needs of the entire country, urban and rural.
availability of payments, for example, are one of the most widely used methods for infrastructure in the world. in this model, the government entity contracts with the private sector to build, operate and maintain a piece of infrastructure. in return, the contractor receives payments from the government over a specified period of time, provided that certain milestones and targets are met. using this approach, the government doesn't have to bear the full cost of infrastructure up front, and the risk to both the private and the public sector is mitigated. so there are many innovative and creative models out there to be considered. the administration's definition of infrastructure is also broad and inclusive. it not only recognizes traditional infrastructure such
as roads, bridges, railroads, airports, inland waterways and ports, it may also potentially include energy, water, broadband, veterans hospitals as well. and that is why there are 16 different departments and agencies working to put together this initiative. in addition, a few special projects that are not candidates for private investments will likely be identified and funded directly. candidates for this special category may include projects that have the potential to significantly increase gdp growth or to lift the american spirit. incentivizing local, state and private sector investments, as well as streamlining permitting processes will have the biggest
impact on future infrastructure development. but in the process of revitalizing our country's infrastructure, we're also looking at ways to revitalize our country's workforce. as a former secretary of labor, this is especially important to me. far too many workers are being left behind because they're not equipped with the skills and demand in our rapidly changing economy. in transportation, for example, drivers of the future will be in charge of fleets of cars that talk to one another, dispatched by workers at a computer. drones will inspect our infrastructure with precision and reliability, but will require some type of human
control, oversight, and analysis. so digital literacy and higher skills will be key. the good news is that workers don't need an expensive four-year college degree to access these good paying jobs. a two-year program at a local community college is an important resource as well and far more affordable. and increasingly, employers are offering vocational training to high school students and there are excellent training programs offered by many skilled trades unions and government programs to help train workers as well. but to be relevant, all vocational and skills training programs have got to involve the employers because they know best
which skills are in demand, which skills they require. so let me add that emerging technology requires a regulatory approach that ensures safety while encouraging innovation and preserves creativity. and this last point is especially important. creativity and innovation are part of the great genius of america, one of its hallmarks. and we who are in the policy-making arena must safeguard and nurture this legacy. but it is also critical that silicon valley and other innovators step up and share with the public their understanding of new technology
and address legitimate public concerns about safety and privacy. so let me close by noting that, as you've heard from other speakers, there's never been a more exciting time to be involved in infrastructure. it's a national priority and has growing public support. there is also rare bipartisan consensus that now is the time to act. i want to thank you for inviting me here today. i look forward to working with you to incentivize innovation, eliminate unnecessary barriers to change, and usher in a new era of safety, mobility, and prosperity for our country and its residents, and thank you for helping us to highlight all these very important issues across the country. thanks so much. [ applause ]
our failure to maintain, expand and build new infrastructure puts america at risk. it is a drag on our economy. it threatens jobs, businesses, and communities. we're going to pay for infrastructure whether we invest in it now or not through unsafe conditions that put us at risk, through jobs lost, longer commutes and lost productivity, through worn out vehicles and unreliable energy and water. but if we invest today, we can rebuild, repair and modernize our systems. so we are ready for whatever the future brings.
>> good morning, i'm greg kelly, ceo from wsp here in the u.s. and latin america. it's a pleasure to be here this morning for infrastructure week. just by way of a public service announcement, wsp was formerly known as parson springerhoff. we rebranded and we're happy to put the new brand out there today. sitting on my right is someone who i think is well known to everyone. terry has been the head of lyuna for close to 20 years nowment ba. based here in the d.c. area. son of labor, father of labor. labor is in his blood and he's got close to 500,000 members. this is a group that's responsible for building the back bone of our infrastructure. sitting on the end here, jay is with the national association of manufacturers. this is the group that represents the people that make things for our country.
with over 12 million people employed by those manufacturers, this is a group that understands the critical nature of infrastructure. let me just start by saying, as we think about infrastructure, this is a worldwide competition. this is not new mexico versus new york or denver verse detroit. this is about our role with infrastructure across the u.s. countries outside of the u.s., emerging economies are investing perhaps 7% of their gdp in infrastructure. here in our country, we're investing around 2%, between 2% and 3%. in the '50s, it was close to that 6% or 7% number. let me put this in context. a colleague of mine recently said that today we are using infrastructure moving goods and people across bridges and through tunnels that were opened
when they were still building the titanic. and we're still using those assets today. so when we think about that in those terms, it's pretty alarming as it relates to investment in infrastructure in our country. so let me begin, jay, with you. you represent manufacturers all over america. talk about when you're in the room with your association, what are they talking about as it relates to infrastructure? what's on their mind? >> well, i think you have to put it in the context of the cost of doing business, and incentives for investment in this country and incentives to create jobs in this country. frankly, when it costs too much to do business in the united states, it becomes -- it becomes an impediment for growth in our country. infrastructure, the cost of infrastructure and the cost of crumbling infrastructure very much adds to that cost of doing
business here. so when i talk to manufacturers, when they talk about why that cost is being added, it's because we have a very intricate and complex supply chain that allows us to manufacture products just in time. if we have delays, if we have trucks that can't get through, if we have ports that are clogged, that adds time. that reduces our productivity and our efficiency. and ultimately, it adds dollars to the bottom line cost, which of course goes to consumers and impedes our ability to invest more dollars. so really, it's -- it's part of that mix when we talk about taxes and regulation and workforce issues. infrastructure is very much at the top of the list of cost drivers and it's why, quite
frankly, we're very pleased that this administration is taking it on head-on to come up with some results. >> terry, you represent workers across the u.s. my question would be, are you seeing progress in addressing this backlog of projects, not just in transportation but in energy? what kind of progress are you and your members seeing? >> i think as tom donohue said -- and i would be remiss if i first didn't thank the chamber and tom donohue for hosting this, and for my good friend jay timmons here for participating on the panel as well as yours. with the chamber we work with tom in the chamber and have for over a decade with atm coalition, americans for transportation mobility, on infrastructure. and with jay and his organization on not only infrastructure but energy infrastructure and a whole host of other things. >> anything that requires jobs, right? >> absolutely.
so the backlog, greg, certainly the five-year highway bill has made a difference, at least from our organization, our members' perspective. no way to run on airline so to speak, ten years of relatively short-term extensions where state departments of transportation couldn't plan long term, so we have seen a growth in the infrastructure space, i believe, because of the highway bill. we have also seen an explosion work in the pipeline sector. the energy sector doesn't include renewables, but particularly, natural gas in oil pipelines. as we sit here today, we have over $50 billion worth of pipeline work on the books which are good family supporting blue collar jobs with good wages, good benefits, good working
conditions and with good labor standards and protection. so, we have seen our membership is growing, again, primarily because of the five-year highway bill and because of the energy sector. so, if we could get our hands around how we build -- address the problem at hand, as tom said this morning, we've talked about it a million times and we were talking backstage, any increased infrastructure spending would be an absolute boom for jobs, those good working class jobs i talked about, our economy, and our competitiveness as a country. >> greg, can i just interject. >> sure. >> in tom's exact words, i wrote them down, were serious strategic investments. i think that's a very important concept because you can have a bill that just pumps -- well, let's just say a trillion
dollars into the economy, but if it's not well thought out, if there aren't specific priorities that are outlined, you really aren't being as effective and efficient with taxpayers' dollars as you should be. and we saw that, frankly, eight years ago with the stimulus bill. there were parts that were certainly well thought out and well planned, but there was a lot of it that wasn't. so we're very excited and we're working with the administration to present a plan that will have a very long-term look at what our transportation needs are. and that may involve different ways and i know we'll get into this. that may involve different ways of thinking about funding. how are we going to pay for this massive infusion of spending. it may involve encouraging the states to have some skin in the game more than they do now. it's really -- it's a
fascinating time, i think, for this particular issue. something, as terry mentioned, that we've been dealing with for not just years but decades, and we've limped along to the point where we really can't limp anymore. we've got to go to the hospital, we've got to get healed and we've got to move forward with a pretty bold plan. >> jay and terry, you both mentioned about the role of states here. there's a bit of federalism, i guess, that enters into the conversation. when you think about infrastructure priorities, they're developed at the state level and it's an interconnected system nationally. where are you seeing successes at the state level, where they get it right in setting those priorities and moving an infrastructure agenda forward from both a funding and choosing those strategic priorities in that particular location? >> i mean, i can point to a whole host of projects. i actually wrote a few down just as examples. as jay said, at the end of the day, if we trend a trillion dollars and our infrastructure
isn't any better and if they're not high road jobs but low road jobs, it won't benefit our economy as much as it should or could. as most people know, there is worker shortages in this country. we ought to be able to take the advantage of increased infrastructure spending along with skills training to make sure that when we're done with this boom -- we'll never be done, but as it subsides somewhat, that we have a capable and skilled workforce, the workforce of the future. i think if you look at the blue plains tunnel project here in d.c., it was a $319 million job. it was an engineering marvel. enr made it the project of the year in 2016. it will reduce the waste flow into the river by 98%, 1.6 million work hours, and no loss time accidents. projects like that, laguardia
airport is another example of those kind of high road projects that in some instances are publicly funded but in many instances these are also privately funded or state-funded projects. there's one of the largest coal and natural gas replacement projects in the u.s. in snyder county, pennsylvania. created over 1,000 jobs, expected to contribute more than $5 billion into the local economy, and it will produce -- it will generate 180% more power which will power more than 1 million homes in pennsylvania and new york. there are a whole host of examples of whether it's private money, public money, or a combination of the both, of high road jobs where infrastructure has improved and the local economy has improved as well. >> think about that.
it's not only good for economic growth. it provides jobs, good paying sustainable jobs, and it also improves quality of life. how many of us -- let's face it, how many of us got stuck in traffic coming here today? how many hours are lost for the average family trying to get their kids to work or -- pardon me, get their kids to school and then get to work after that. there are so many hours that we lose because of our poor infrastructure system. but to answer your question directly, greg, i can go to what i know personally. i worked for george allen when he was governor of virginia and i was his chief of staff. transportation funding was a top priority for him because he understood and he heard from folks specifically in northern virginia in tidewater and richmond and even south side virginia about what crumbling infrastructure or outdated infrastructure was doing to families. so you look at projects like the wilson bridge, that was a combination of virginia, maryland, and d.c., and i will say that -- brag a little bit --
george allen took the lead on that and made that happen. that's where you need that leadership. you need it at the state level to really drive these priorities forward. if you look at the hot lanes in virginia which was not a project of the allen administration but later, that's a public/private partnership with floor corporation. that thing moved so quickly. if it was pure federal and state funding, we'd still be waiting for the ribbon cutting on that one. look at the mixing bowl project in northern virginia. look at the route 58 along southern virginia. there was a combination of pure state funding, a combination of some federal state funding and then there was some public/private partnerships. virginia actually led the way 20 years ago with the implementation of its public/private partnership legislation which enabled investors to come to the state
and say, okay, we know what your priorities are because the state commonwealth transportation board listed those, here's how we can actually help you achieve those priorities. here's what we will invest. here's what our risk will be, and here's what we expect our return to be. the state evaluated it and allowed -- i think it was during allen's time -- 12 to 15 of the projects to move forward. that would not have happened if we were simply waiting for government to act and that's why the public sector is so important to this equation as well. >> jay, it almost seems like a different time when we were able to move those projects forward and it seems today that there's just a bit more impediments in the way of moving projects. >> that's for sure. >> but for both of you, what are the impediments that need to be removed to support moving infrastructure forward? >> one, we have to figure out how to pay for it which is one of the major topics here. we're a union that supported
increasing the gas tax but believe that everything should be on the table. there's a lot of good ideas and it's great that the president is talking about the need for additional infrastructure spending, $1 trillion over ten years. it's encouraging that congress is as well, but the major impediment to moving forward is how the heck are we going to pay for it. to me, that's the number one issue, how we do get our hands around it. two, and that is regulatory reform. at the end of the day, we need to find ways to expedite the approval process and environmental review processes for infrastructure and pipeline. our regulatory process slows projects down at an alarming rate. not to say that we don't need environmental review because we do. not to say that we should shortcut on projects because we shouldn't. but coupled with how we figure out how we pay for infrastructure, we have to
figure out and change -- we have to adjust and change and reform the regulatory process. >> can i ask you to do one thing, terry? >> yeah. >> because you're not going to do it. talk about your leadership on l keystone. that is a perfect example of how we have struggled as a country to overcome the regularism. you were tremendous leaders. >> partners in the team on these we have to ring out the politics, whether it is on the regulatory side or the investment side. i think that there is no better example of politics as usual than jay mentioned keystone pipeline. it was vetted by five state-department reviews. what held up that project wasn't what the state department reviews said. it was clearly politics.
regulatory and politics. we can't have politicians licking their fingers and seeing which way the wind is blowing. quite honestly, i'm not taking a shot. i'm going to be factual. president barack obama held that project up against what the state department review said because of politics. because a group of extremists circled the white house holding hands singing coupkum bi yan an keystone wasn't a reality. when we met with president trump, sean mcgarvy and myself, two days after he was elected, he signed an executive order on keystone pipeline. it is not only keystone. dakota access and what's happened with that. i could go on and on about not only the regulatory process but the politics. if we don't ring politics out of it, i don't know whether these
doable. it is going to slow down our economy and the progression of good, middle class jobs and our ability to repair a crumbling transportation, energy and water frein structu ter infrastructure. >> is environmental regulatory impediments have been front and center. when terry talks about wringing the politics out of this process, the one way to do that is for everyday americans to rise up and speak out on what's important, to give our elected leaders the backbone they need to get this done. there are so many competing forces when you are dealing with something as huge as infrastructure. it is easy to say, we have $2
trillion. we can't tackle that right now. let's deal with the small stuff and play small ball. we can't afford to do that, not if we are going to stay competitive as a country, not if we are going to lead the world in economic growth. one way to do is for all of us to get involved. you are here today because you obviously care about this issue. you probably know 50 other people who care about this issue. if you would write down this number or pull out your smartphone or pda, i'm going to ask you to text a word to a number so that you can electronically sign a petition to support infrastructure spending and investment. if you would text the word build to 52886. it is 52886. i don't see everybody writing this down. please write this down. this is really important. as we begin to or as we continue to broaden the grassroots
support for infrastructure spending, we can get this done. we can encourage folks from the left and the right to come together for the good of the country with the leadership of the white house to get this done. that is spending or paying for the spending of massive project. terry says, his union supports an all of the above approach as does the national association of manufacturers. you can find that in this building to win document. this is a document that we released last year, something that the trump campaign picked up on and has been looking to as a guide for their proposal that should come out very, very soon. you will see a menu of potential funding options. it is not exhaustive by any
means. there are many things we can do to pay for the spending. >> certainly, a gas tax increase should be on the table but so should technology. i know that is sometimes a third rail when we are talking about infrastructure investment. let's be real. virginia led the way when it came to smart paths or a smart tag. that allowed digital pay-fors, if you will for public/private partnerships as well as public projects. technology is the key to the future in this, i think, as well as some of these other proposals. >> should we be changing the infrastructure we invest in, whether it is broadband in rural areas or investment in technology to smooth the flow of goods? >> i think we should invest in all of it, greg. at the end of the day, as we look at funding issue, we should be looking at the technology
issue. i don't think they should be separate and apart. what are the transportation, infrastructure needs of this country. we need to focus on where our infrastructure is broken. i think that's pretty easy to do. we're talking backstage what we need to improve our infrastra infrastructure. we are falling apart and behind on this as evidenced by what the american society of civil engineers gave us a grade of "d" plus. there is a presentation they have forgotten more than i know. when i brought a dfrm"d" plus h my father used to say, we have a problem here. at the end of the day, you are not going to like the solution but there is going to be a solution. i kind of liken where we find ourselves today in this country with our transportation, with our overall infrastructure,
water, energy, and roads and bridges, of what are we going to do about it, which goes to the issues we have been talking about. it is undeniable. in our union, we highlight the problem all the time. some people brush it off. how do you brush off that one in four bridges are structural deficient. how do you brush off that each day, motorists make 188 trips across structurally deficient bridges. how do you brush off that we have over the next ten years, we are going to have a $2 trillion investment shortage in infrastructure. how do you brush off 240,000 water main leaks per year in the united states wasting $2 trillion of drinking water. the facts speak to itself. a whole host more facts that the asce will talk about. it highlights the problem.
as jay said, we need to put this, not in people's face but in a respectful way. in the faces of each and every one of us as americans. it is in the face of our economy and creating world class, middle class jobs, good labor standards and protections. it is high time we do something about it. this week is encouraging for no other reason than that a group of individuals, we may not see it completely the same. we know what the problem is and we are here to try and find solutions. working with this administration, who is committed to it and hopefully by getting congress to finally address the long-term funding for infrastructure, we might be able to get something done. >> very sorry to hear about that "d" plus. hopefully, you were able to pull that grade back up. >> i would have given anything to get a dfrmt"d" plus. >> you talk about the labor force, terry.
we have come a long way since the global financial crisis. the market has picked up. your membership is not quite at a record high. you are bumping up half a million members. you have come a long way. let's say there is a big infusion of ways to pay for infrastructure. we have the labor force to handle that. the second part is the question. it relates to the piece that jay brought up. how are we training our workforce delivering for structure in this new age of technology. >> i'll do the training part first. i know sean, the head of the building trade school will follow up on this in his panel. we do a lot of things good and a lot needs improvements. i come from the training side of our international un yubs. unions. in the building trades, our training and recruitment is second to none. we recruit out of the military, through helmets, the hard hat program and from faith-based
groups, community groups, minority groups for the workforce of the future. there are worker shortages in some classifications in some parts of the country. can they be filled? they can if we take the regulatory process and make is it easier for us to train people we don't train and sit not going to work for years on end because of na process, whether it be at the state or the federal level. the training -- we have to train now. we train 140,000 people in our union every year. that's not completely unique in the building trades. we spend about $110 million doing it. we can recruit the workforce. here is what i'm encouraged by. because of the five-year highway bill, because of the boom on the
energy side, question have seen an increased interest in young men and women in military, returning military veterans attracted to the construction industry once again. it wasn't that long ago during the great desession threcession unemployment was 30%. we lost a whole group of workers that helped build all the projects we could call out and define before. if we can get another boom right now, we are not busting at the seams but our unemployment rate in the construction industry, probably 6%, i think i saw recently. relatively low compared to what it was before. if this boom is to come, there is a training freinfrastructure recruiting infrastructure with the additional interest being a sector with good-paying jobs, high-road jobs, not low road jobs. i think we will stop losing people, with all due respect,
workers, young and middle age and old to the service sector and attracting back to the construction sector. i believe we can fulfill any worker shortage that there is. i know we can train a person upgrade training as well as apprenticeship training and apprenticeship ready programs and the likes. the infrastructure is there. if we can get the funding infrastructure, we can provide the worker infrastructure. >> that's encouraging. in this country, we always find a way to deliver and step up. i am going to give you a different aspect. >> sean and terry's unions are the best in class at training the workforce that we need in the future for the building industry. i'm concerned about the manufacturing side. i'll be very blunt about that. we have to produce goods that
they use to build our infrastructure projects. we have 350,000 jobs in manufacturing that are open today. it is because we don't have folks with the right skills. i'm going to say that manufacturers share a part of that burden and blame, because we have not been good at training the workforce of the future, training folks for those upscale jobs that require upscale workers. we are tackling that problem. federal government and state governments say they have a role as well. certainly, the educations of institutions of higher education have a role in this. community colleges. we're starting to work with those. if we don't tackle this now, we're going to have about 2 million jobs that are unfilled within ten years. that will add to the burden we have of finding the workers necessary to get this done. it is from soup to nuts. we have to have the workforce
ready and available to get the job done. >> jay, that just reinforces how linked we are between manufacturer, laborers and professional contractors. >> if you find you have a surplus, send some our way. >> i made a mental note. >> thank you. >> jay, let's bring this back to you. as it relates to frayed movement, there were provisions in the fast act for improvements, projects, enhanced freight movements. what are your members saying about freight movements these days? >> that we still have issues. there are bottlenecks. there are lack of sufficient routes. you also tie that in with trucking and trucking regulations and some manufacturers are able to switch between freight, rail and trucking. but you have problems with the
highway system as well. so you have the bottlenecks with both of those areas and freight continues to be a problem. it is improving and it is an air why where we need to see more improvement. >> any particular areas where would you draw some emphasis as the highest priority you are hearing from your members. >> on infrastructure overall? >> yes. >> it is all of the above. our members utilize our infrastructure system in very different ways. some are purely information based so broadband is a priority. some are intense energy user. the grid us a priority. some have need to ship their products through our port system. so our slowdowns in the ports are priority. there really is not one area where you can say we've got to focus on this first. you have priorities in each of those areas that you have to tackle. i think, though, from a general
public standpoint, being able to emphasize improvements to -- we keep talking about improvements or we keep talking about, frankly, patching the deficiencies that exist right now. we also have to talk about building new things, moving toward the future. i think the way to get the public's attention on this is to really focus on rhodoads and bridges. we have an incredible number of structural deficient bridges and think about the terms and the accidents that have occurred in minnesota and other places. 55,000 bridge ns ths in this co are structural deficient. many are designated for complete destruction and rebuilding. that's the way the general public will take notice and get involved.
if you text build to 52886, we will continue to build that groundswell of support. the two of you, laborers and manufacturers have built a tremendous collaboration in terms of addressing this fre infrastructu infrastructure issue. what advice do you have in terms of trying to drive what is undoubtedly a bipartisan issue? >> coming from a labor guy, we need to be relentless. we need to use the talents that's in this room, the talent that's in d.c. around infrastructure week. i think, respectfully, we have to challenge our elected leaders to not stick their heads in the sand on this issue. it's too important to our economy, our competitiveness and the whole jobs equation. i think jay has given us the number to call. i know we are mobilizing and activating our members to call their congressional
representatives about the importance of this issue, about the importance of this week and rebuilding our crumbling transportation infrastructure. as jay said, i encourage each and every one of you to do the same. because we need to keep people's feet to the fire in a respectful way. this is too important to the future of our country. we can not keep falling behind other countries and expect to have a 21st century infrastructure in the greatest country there is on this planet. how many times have we gathered to talk about infrastructure weeks. how many have we celebrated together? now is the time. this is absolutely our moment to
make progress. we have a president that likes to build things. he understands the importance of infrastructure investment. whether you or your organization supported him or not is totally irrelevant. the fact of the matter is. we have a friend in the white house when it comes to infrastructure investment and moving the bill forward. congress understands this pressure as well. they may not want to deal with it. i'm not just throwing that number out, 52886 and asking you to text build to it because i think it is a neat gimmick. this is a time where public pressure, pressure from business, labor, from the general public, will actually matter and we will actually get something done. we will not continue to just talk about this five-year or seven-year transportation funding bills. this is above and beyond. we know that this is what we need to make sure our economy
grows and to make sure we maintain our mantle of economic leadership around the world. again, this is our moment. please, don't look at this as we have in the past. we are going to talk about it this week and move on to other issues. we can't afford to do that. we have to keep the pressure up. it will pay off. i guarantee it. i want to thank both our panelists and close by saying our youngest airport in this country is denver. that's 22 years old right now. that's approaching its mid-life. as we talked about earlier, we are moving people and goods across infrastructure that was opened for t opened before the titanic set sail. we do have a moment to take advantage of this and to help that and raise that level of understanding across the cun tri. i' country. i'll ask for a round of applause for both terry and jay.
[ applause ] good morning. my name is jacque hinman and i want to welcome secretary chao as to several of our nation's most prominent state and government leaders that will join us later. speaker hughes of the utah state legislature, mayor of los angeles, eric garcetti and my mayor of denver, mayor michael hancock. it is my honor to join you to commence the observance of infrastructure week, 2017, not only as the chairman and ceo of
c h2 m but as the chairman of the business round tables frein structure committee. it is in its latter position that i will make a few remarks this morning. for those not familiar with business round table, it is the nation's only organizations that's exclusively represents ceos of america's leading companies. our 200 ceo member organizations generate more than $6 trillion in annual revenues and our major employers in every state providing quality jobs for some 15 million americans. in addition, brt companies invest $100 billion annually in research and development and generate more than $400 billion in revenues for their small and medium size us business supply chains. finally, brt organizations serve as active corporate citizens to advance the development of
communities where they operate and as such they are keenly interested in advancing american infrastructure. for someone who has spent her entire career in the business of dlifing all kinds of infrastructure, i can't recall a time in recent history, probably none of us can, when it has factored so prominently in the public policy dialogue. for the first time in my life, i am kind of happy because frein structure is cool. the time is come for a collaboration that goes beyond political and jurisdictional boundaries to renew frein structure. in that spirit, the business round table is introducing a policy blueprint. a set of overarching principles and specific recommendations for many important infrastructure considerations being undertaken here in our nation's capital here as in many state capitals. for the practical purpose of
collaboration, in this document, we offer six guiding principles, each of which provides a common ground rallying point to bring america's infrastructure vision to fruition. the first policy point comes support from the business round table for user pay models. based on the idea that those who most benefit from a particular infrastructure asset generally should bear its cost. this principle promotes self-sustaining, direct funding with dedicated revenue generated by user fees. we all know that. the second policy it supports is to unlock the full potential of private investment. we will hear more about that in infrastructure development, like other countries, of course, have done. i think all of us know that in the u.s., only 34 states have in place laws that make it easier for the private sector to investment in infrastructure.
we would like to see more of that. the third principle calls for prioritizing investments for maximum public benefits taking a return oriented approach. that's not always been taken in the past and how we allocate public resources and leverage them across funding strings, whether they are public, private, local, state or federal for broader impact projects. the fourth policy principle is to put smarting, more efficient regulatory at work. absolutely critical. while also promoting private investment and improving predictability throughout the development process. this can be done. you are going to hear stories of how to make it happen more efficiently. governments can play a powerful role incentivizing and accelerating p organization. whether they be public/private
partnerships for develop grants or demonstration projects. last but not least, the sixth policy concept is that we plan up front to maintain infrastructure assets in the future. with on going management, dedicated maintenance and contingency provisions. much of the infrastructure challenge we have isn't that we lack infrastructure, it is that we lack well-mained efficiently functioning fre functioning infrastructure. the six prints embedded in the blueprint along with 40 specific recommendations that are in there advance common types of frein structure such as service transportation and aviation, ports and waterways, water management systems in our energy's infrastructure and those specific recommendations also provide ideas around improved funding and financing
models. i encourage you to take a look at this. it is entitled back in business and online at brt.org. i can assure you that the business round table and its 200 member ceos and enter organizations will work tirelessly with government and with labor and other organizational leaders for the common purpose of returning our infrastructure to the highest standards of quality and excellence. good frein structure is quite simply, we all know this, good business. and good infrastructure is all around us. you will hear a couple of examples, right here in d.c. the intracoastal waterfront initiative, a great project that had private investment to transfer once divisive highways and urban boulevards into revitalized riverfront
recreation areas. it is evidence in los angeles where government leaders, including mayor garcetti won overwhelming approval for l.a. county initiative. will secure funding for comprehensive improvements. it is evident in denver where mayor hancock has enforced community partnerships to redevelop the national western center as a hub for ago grabusiness innovation as shown by these leaders, there has never been a better time for us to renew our country. let's get back in business. now, it us my pleasure to introduce dr. norma jean matee, a fellow licensed civil engineer and president of the american society of civil engineers for her presentation for the annual report card, the 2017 report card on america's infrastructure. thank you.
>> this morning is brought to you by infrastructure, not just this morning but the first day of infrastructure week or iweek. every morning. when you got up, you turned your lights on. you drank a glass of water. you might have had a bite of breakfast. you threw something in the garbage. you flushed the toilet if. you brushed your teeth. you got dressed for the day. and you got here. maybe by car. i ubered. maybe by light rail. maybe by plane. each of these activities would not be possible without
infrastructure infrastructure is all around us and securing our quality of life. as a civil engineer and the president of the american society of civil engineers and its 150,000 members globally, i and my other members are stewarts of our infrastructure. i'm also a professor of engineering. my grades are due wednesday. i'm here to tell you that our country has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to infrastructure. every four years since 1998, asce has prepared the infrastructure report card using a simple, familiar format. that's that a through f format that everybody here understands.
we examine the current frein struck jury a infrastructure and needs. experts from across the country and across 16 categories of infrastructure reviews data and reports and meets with government agency and industry officials assessing each category according to eight key criteria, capacity, condition, funding, future need, operations and maintenance, of course public safety, resilience and innovation. so roads bridges, water, wastewater, waste, down to parks and schools are reviewed. in 2017, asce's report card, we graded the nation's infrastructure and as mentioned prior, the overall grade is a
"d" plus, not good. there are copies outside on the table next to the door that you came in from. pick up your own. take a look. that "d" plus is the same grade that we had in 2013, the last time that we graded our nation's infrastructure. we've seen improvements, though, seven of the 16 categories saw a grade increase. that's good. engineers, elected officials, private sector and communities across the country are developing innovative solutions in those areas infrastructure grades improved. 12 categories need work. they still have grades in the ds and three more earned cs. that reflects we have a significant backlog of needs across our country. all of these categories, the infri infrastructure is
interconnected, interdependant. it's a system. the best great is bfrnlt"b," ra. it is a result of investment by private industry in private freight rail. they did a lot to improve and maintain rail infrastructure. unfortunately, passenger rail pulled that grade down or it might have been better than a "b." amtrak probably would not grade themselves better than a "b." there is some good news. i think this is good news. or at least perhaps a light at end of the tunnel. because of those grades, we are almost at the point, our infrastructure can't go much lower. our infrastructure can't still successfully serve as the backbone of our economy.
as we heard from secretary chao earlier. there is interest and momentum growing at the white house and congress to work together on this issue, which an overwhelming majority of americans support. we at asc don't just tell you about the problems facing our infrastructure, those problems are becoming self-evident to most americans today. what i am here to tell you about, there are some steps that we civil engineers, the experts that design, build, and maintain all kinds of infrastructure, we know that these steps need to be taken see that we can fix this. if the united states is truly committed to an infrastructure system built for the 21st century, we need increased and sustained investment. we need bold leadership. we need thoughtful planning. we need careful preparation, not
just for now but for our future. so that infrastructure is both sustainable and resilient. i am pleased to have heard secretary chao, touch on many of these solutions. the president has made investment in our deteriorating infrastructure. his plan would be a good step towards addressing this gap. after decades of minimal investment and maintenance, our needs are great. by asce's estimate, our investment in freinfrastructure needs between 2016 and 2025 total nearly $4.6 trillion. if you assume that current funding levels are sustained over those same ten years, we are left with $2 trillion of needs that won't be covered by current trends in investing and
about 1.1 trillion or a little over half of those needs are in service transportation. our roads, bridges, and transit alone. leaders from all levels of government and the private sector must come together kreest investment as a percentage of the u.s. gross domestic product, right now at 2.5%. if we could just kick it up to 3.5% this investment cannot rely solely on private financing over public funding, even those in the private ex quit market note that financing will not close the infrastructure gap. . the return on investments is just not fair in certain sectors we rely on. those sectors needs are critical. all the funding and the financing in the world will not
guarantee widespread improvements in our infrastructure if we don't also insure that these investments are spent weissly. we must prioritize projects with critical benefits to the economy, public safety and life. while permitting and approval processes will certainly promote some savings and some efficiencies in time and money, we also need to change how infrastructure is planned. projects must be budgeted based on the costs, just not for building those projects but also, as george from d.c. water knows, the cost of maintaining and operating infrastructure over their lifetime is pretty substantial when you look at the cost over the life span of that infrastructure. finally, we need to build our infrastructure to be more sustainable and more resilient
with clear economic, environmental and social benefits. that infrastructure must be quickly recoverable from significant weather and hazard events. much of our existing infrastructure system was built 50, 60 years ago. we, as civil engineers, had no intention of that infrastructure having to move into 100-year usage. we must look for new technologies so it is prepared for not just us but for our kid and grand kid, future generations of americans. opportunities exist right now to solve our nation's infrastructure crisis as the administration and u.s. congress weigh infrastructure, legislation and the state and local governments also.
there its more to be done. i don't have a magic wand to wave to resolve our infrastructure issues. there isn't an infrastructure money tree that will single haan edly revitalize infrastructure. it is going to take collective action and tough choices. in failing to act, that's going to result in another "d" plus grade in four years when the asce puts out the next infrastructure report card. if we do not close the investment gap, our economy will pay the consequences. that includes how about a $3 trillion usgd loss by 2025. $7 trillion lost by businesses.
2.5 million jobs lost by 2025. on top of that, each american family will lose $3,400 out of their pocket, disposable income each year. that averages about $9 a day due to what they suffer from poor infrastructure. sitting in traffic, the cost of goods just costing more to get to where they purchased them. for many, this cost is something they cannot afford. we can all think of better ways to spend that precious dollar. for about $4 a day, that is a price of a decaf latte, we can solve that problem, this problem. today and throughout infrastructure weeks, let's
commit to a future in which we improve infrastructure and value it as a key to the quality of life and to our economic prosperity. a future in which we are all willing to chip in and pay our fair share to invest in infrastructure. it is just not time to build. it is time to maintain our nation's infrastructure. it is time to ensure that it is built for the future generations of america that will rely on it for our quality of life in this nation. thank you. it is time to build stronger systems that are resilient to demand and build smarter systems
that use new technology to keep us safer and move us faster, time to build better systems that improve our quality of life, create jobs and build a better america for the next generation. the time to build is now. good morning. i am pleased to moderate this panel labeled smarter, faster, safer infrastructure. my name is mike burke, the ceo and chairman of ae com. we are in the infrastructure business. we design infrastructure assets in over 150 countries. one of the things that we are
hearing a lot about today and its been quite evident over the past six months is that infrastructure is increasingly in the spotlight. that's growing more intense by the day. we are moving from an yar where there was a strong acknowledgment. we have heard the number, $3.6 trillion infrastructure gap. enormous day that that acknowledges that gap. we are moving from a phase where we acknowledged that gap to a phase where we are going to take action to address that gap that's growing across the country. so for the first time, in this debate, we are seeing a very strong alignment along three vectors. an alignment of political support, public support and
private capital being brought to bear to solve this problem. we heard from secretary chao this morning. we are delighted to hear there is a plan underway being developed to bring $200 billion worth of capital to solve this problem. we are seeing an increasing amount of private capital looking to invest into long infrastructure assets here in the u.s. and abroad. one of the things that has inhibited the investment in private sector infrastructure has been the regulatory burden. we are going to reduce the regulatory burdens that cause us to undertake a ten-year process
for infrastructure. we are seeing this broad bipartisan support at the congressional, federal level. everybody is supporting infrastructure, maybe not necessarily agreement on how we are going to pay for it just yet but we are seeing broad, bipartisan support, voter support across the country in the november ballots. we saw $200 billion of measures passed entirely to fund transportation infrastructure. we are seeing more than half the state increase their gas tax. someone else calling for an increase at the federal level that hasn't increased since 1993. we are seeing federal support, state, local and taxpayer support across this country to bring some sense of urgency to this long overdue problem. what's going to be important is that as we start taking action,
and start tackling this problem that we are focused on the right priority of projects. the focus of this panel is going to be answering that question, what should we build? we have a wide array of needs. selecting the right projects to build, the right projects that address both the infrastructure needs and the economic impact, the environmental impacts and creates jobs for this country. we've seen the studies that if we select the right jobs, we'll have a three times multiplier benefit to the economy, if we select the right infrastructure job. we have a distinguished panel of experts from the public and private sector to help us address this challenge. i'll briefly introduce the panelists before we jump in to the discussion. immediately to my left is mayor michael hancock of denver colorado. michael is focused on making sure that his city is globally competitive and all of us are
focused on that around the country. he is focused on establishing a competitive fre competitive infrastructure environment and developing the first smart city in denver. we will hear more about that in a minute. to my far left, george hawkins, the ceo and general manager of d.c. water. don't be fooled by george's outfit with all the pins and regalia. he is one of the most recognized water experts in the world and an ivy league educated lawyer and being a recovered lawyer myself, i can appreciate about that. we are going to hear the most incredible ideas being brought to an 80-year-old freinfrastruce asset. judy marks to my right. judy brings two important perspectives, president and ceo of siemens. she has 50,000 employees that are focused on developing some of the most innovative
technology for infrastructure. she also has 60 different manufacturing plants here in the u.s. we want to make sure those plants stay here and the jobs stay here in the u.s. we have to have a competitive infrastructure environment to make sure siemens retains those jobs and manufacturing sites here in the u.s. we will hear more. to my far right, sean mcgarvy, the president of north america's building trades union that represents over 3 million workers across this country. we are about to enter this f infrastructure boom. there are some concerns whether we have the right talent to build everything that needs to be built. we are going to hear more about that in a minute. let me address the first question to mayor hancock. as the developer of this smart city station and also the large
area around denver airport it is truly defining the 21st century infrastructure whether it is smart lighting, parking and bus shelters, transit oriented housing and vetting the future of autonomous vehicles, every single one of the latest technologies is being applied to some of the projects you have jifrn underway in your city. why is it a smart investment? the phrase smart cities is used probably a little too much and a little too broadly. why is it a smart investment for the city of denver to be considering the latest technology? >> mike, let me first tell you that the texas nexus, our laboratory for test thg out in partnership with panasonic, a public/private effort, they have built their global headquarters for the enterprising solution
enterprise. we are looking at things like the things you talked about, autonomous vehicles and environment environmental sensing and what have you. the reason it is important, one, we need to think about long-term investment ns our infrastructure. if you going to invest, it must be 21st century infrastructure. we need to act like it is 2017, not 1917. we need to build our roads that are built for not just moving cars but moving people in different modes of transportation. those are critical. we need to improve the quality of life and individuals that are on those roads regardless of the modes in which they are moving about. people are much more connected than ever before. we all agree with that. if we can use that technology to improve their quality of life and their flow throughout our city. we are going to include their quality of life. we are looking at how we can do those things through technology solutions.
panasonic is using that laboratory and space. tu it is a great partnership to help us do that. denver is the second fastest growing region in our country. the city has grown by 1,000 new people per month. we are seeing our city increase by 23% new people per day in the city of denver. that's 150,000 people who come into our city putting demands on our roads and our meters and our other infrastructure. the more we can make it a smarter infrastructure, the better we can accommodate the residents, meet them where they are and get them moving about and being more productive. >> maybe we could expand on the technology aspect. one of the issues that we see time and time again is the length and duration of implementation for infrastructure assets is long. mainly due to the regulatory burdens today. what we are trying to do is plan and implement infrastructure
assets that might not be ready for many, many years. we are trying to imbed it with technology that is changing so rapidly. we are looking at a new consolidated rental car facility at lax, a $1.7 billion project. will we have rental cars in ten years or autonomous cars. will they be rentals? thinking through new ways and new technology, how are you thinking about it in denver? >> mike, you have hit the nail on the head to be honest with you. that's why it is so critical for us in denver and across the country and all the other mayors are figuring this out. we have to have public/private partnerships. you all have the ability to look further ahead. we can indicate through or analytics what is coming, trying to get ahead of it. we can be partners with you. mayors, governors have to think further ahead as well. we have to challenge the cities and our people to think further
ahead. sometimes it is harder, because we are in our silos and to your point, bureaucratically, we are not used to doing that. it is here now. the reality is we can't take ten years to implement these frein structu infrastructure changes. we have to think further ahead. for example, today, as we look to improve our rhodeoads, reare thinking about autonomous vehicles. they are here but not as deployed as we expect them to be in the next five or ten years. we are preparing for their ultimate domination on our roads. >> i want to come back to how you prioritize projects. maybe we could transition to judy on the technology that siemens is seeing. certainly siemens not only has 60 manufacturing plants that we mentioned. i want to come back to that also on competitiveness here in the u.s. what type of technology are you seeing at siemens that is
applicable to the infrastructure environment here in the united states? >> thanks, mike. mayor, you said it right. it is all about connecting. we believe technology is here today and while autonomous vehicles may be slowly emerging and we are figuring out how to deal with them from a policy and technology perspective. connecting vehicles to traffic systems is real. we are doing it in tampa. we made a grant last week in columbus, ohio, as part of their federal project. we think that today technology is real. but we have to plan today that everything is a censor. everything we touch and the internet of things is a censor. as we build infrastructure, which goes beyond roads and bridges, as we heard the secretary say, it is all about preplanting and having a digital approach with every piece of physical that we put out there. merging the virtual, the logical with the physical. we do have 60 plants here.
we love doing business here. we have been here 160 years and i am proud to say, we are u.s. local with our 50,000 employees in every state. the other thing, though, is we need tools to do this. we need analytics to do this. we have what we call a city performance tool that we have used in many cities, including san francisco, minneapolis, on the large side, d.c. we just released the results of that besides the economic impacts, it let's you evaluate the environmental impacts. mayors and governors, people are concerned about what the commute and the congestion means. we think there is a digital play that is real, that is here today. we also believe if we instrument and actually use these cencors, the best example i can give you is the 70 locomotives we delivered to amtrak for the northeast corridor. i do have the privilege of working here in the district and taking the train quite a bit.
not only do we have, as you can imagine, pretty significant micro processors an information technology but we view the locomotive as operational technology. the brakes on that system are so sophisticated that when we use them, we sell that energy back to the grid. our definition of infrastructure, similar to a lot of mayors and governors, beyond roads and bridges, wireless communications, using digital technology, all about moving people more rapidly in our cities, on our highways and in our buildings. most people are not aware that buildings actually generate more carbon than any other single unit. when we talk about infrastructure and we talk about building and i look forward to hearing from you, we think there is tremendous opportunity to apply technology today and take us into the future. >> we certainly see the benefits of your technology and products in many of the as speblths we
a are involved in. i am interested in the competitiveness environment here in the u.s. as it relates to infrastructure. back in 2005, the world economic forum ranked the competitiveness of countries around the world with regard to infrastructure. the united states was number one in 2005. ten years later, we were number 15. we saw a precipitous dropoff. spending 2.5% of our gdp on infrastructure. europe was spending 5%. china, 9%. they had a bigger gap to close. the competitiveness of manufacturing here in this country has dropped primarily due to infrastructure. how are you dealing with that given that you have the choice to locate your manufacturing facilities wherever you choose? >> we do have the choice. we want to manufacture here in the u.s. we exported $5.5 billion of
manufactured goods from the u.s. at siemens just last year across the world. some of it we dealt with ourselves, put in rail spurs in our facility in charlotte, north carolina, for our gas and steam turbins and in iowa, where we build long wind blades and then we actually worked with the state of kansas to increase the road infrastructure in the off ramp to get our wind turbin sails on and off the rails. we absolutely want to build here. we want to manufacture here. we are a global company. we are absolutely local. to do that, we're willing to invest but we need a regulatory framework. we welcome infrastructure activity kind of across the country. we do believe it is local. i sincerely believe that.
this is not one unique ubiquitous answer for the whole country, which is why we work with the mayors an the governors. we are going to continue to do that in every state. >> fantastic. >> george, maybe we could move to you. it is clear that d.c. water has been recognized around the world as one of the most innovative water facilities anywhere. i think it is a real testament to what you and your team have done there to address a problem that we heard a previous panelist talk about this morning saying we are looking at infrastructure asset that is were built around the time the titanic was built. the last time i saw you, i was on a tour of the blue plains facility, which is an 80-year-old water facility here at d.c., a water treatment plant, that now treats over 1 billion gallons a day,ible,
jorn i believe, george. somehow you have figured out how to bring the latest, i know va tiff technology to the efficien producing products and forms of energy from that. maybe you can help us understand not only how you are doing that, but how are you getting the support politically and the rate payers to implement the innovative solutions? >> that's a darn good one. >> i realized i am not drinking my clients's product. >> first of all, glad to be here. how many of you from the district or the reason. anything i brag on because of you. we knew nothing about the support of our customers. the caraffe of water on your
table, i'm glad it's d.c.'s finest is probably costing this enterprise and the chamber a fifth of a cent. aside from the other benefits and the job and what you support, when you have public water, the cost is so low. this is probably 80 cents or maybe a dollar. for a six-pack you pay for all the water at all the tables. that's one of the best business investments you can make anywhere. there is a lot of these programs on roads and bridges. i drive on them every day, but water has to be in the equation. people ask me how many jobs you support and i say all of them. every single job. you don't have fire suppression and you don't have wastewater. you can't open a business. every single job depends on the service. you say how many jobs do you
support, all of them. the only element is essential to every life form we know of that is water. you are investing in water and the best job. that's incredible. that means i'm here and delighted. they came out with a survey focusing on today and similar numbers to what you see. extreme or very high support and structure investment for 67%. for water it's 15 percentage points higher than that. it's something that people support. they get it. this is about my and my job every day. i'm glad to be here. on your question, i will give it to you in a great example. this is why investments in water in particular are so good. we at the largest advanced treatment plant in the world, we serve 750 square miles in the region, to give you a sense.
every single day we generate the crud that we do not want in the potomac, we remove it to keep the rivers of our city clean. 1200 tons a day. a tanker truck is about the length of this stage. 60 of them a day. in the old fashioned world, that was a wastewater treatment plant. what we learned from a college is the waste of every one organism is a food or benefit for another. we take the 60 tanker trucks and generate power from that. we couldn't fit a ji digester. we found innovation in northern europe that cooks that stuff at high temperature and pressure and drops the volume. boom. all the cells break when you release the pressure and the heat like when you put something
hot. the sludge goes in and the bucks are like yes! they eat faster and generate more energy and we are the largest clean energy producer in the mid-atlantimid-atlantic. wind is great and solar is great, but that comes in and out. ours is permanent base load power. at the end of this, we have 400 to 500 tons of crystal clean biosolid filled with organic. look up bloom soil.com. we will sell it as a nutrient-based organic soil amendment which we return into the system. here's the key for infrastructure. you heard the stories about the water main breaks. if you invest and put in sensors, you reduce leaks and the cost to that enterprise of
treating water. you have an immediate savings and not just the cost out the door. we spent a lot of money on, but it saves us money every day and will permanently. a lot of the projects take an up front investment, but they are prone to the private sector and we like to make them because we generate revenue. every gallon that is not wasted is money saved. every wikilowatt hour reproduce. it's all sorts of things. the projects that we can do that improve service and save money that we can share with investors is astronomical and happening today. >> thank you. let's move to shawn. we have previously talked about the challenges we have with
having enough workers to satisfy them and you used a phrase the last time we talked, this is not a just in time delivery model. we have to have better certainty around to train to meet that demand and we heard a panel this morning saying we can't train people and put them on the bench this year waiting for that job to come along. there is so much talk about the lack of a skilled workforce to implement infrastructure. do you think that's accurate and they can give us a sense for how short are we and what is your organization doing to add more? >> thanks to the chamber for asking us to participate. there are spot choices. no question. some areas of the country, in
specific skill sector, there is also a gap in seats and classrooms that we have in those areas of the country. where it's either a political or ideological void that we and the buyers of the construction services can't seem to get over when it comes to who can produce, recruit and train the most highly skilled in the world? we do. we are unchallenged. in certain areas of the country where we have a history that might be 40 or 50 years old where we had problems with the engagement was not great and we haven't been able to breakthrough. if there is a shortage and i'm in sales, it aggravates my members, but i am in sales.
i sell craft labor. if you are going to buy craft labor from the unions, you have another option. if you buy it from us, we better deliver the product and getting to that point is in some areas of the country where we are hung up. we fund them in private sector. if we work at k-12, we would be the fifth largest in the united states. if we were a state university system, five times the size of ohio state. at our peak right before what people refer to as the great recession was the great depression. about 270,000 people. we are creeping back up.
we only use the facilities half the time. transitioning military into the trades. it's a head scratcher to me a little bit when i read these and we try to respond to them or others who have an ulterior motive about why people want to project the workforce shortage when there is an option. we are the option and part of the solution, but not the whole solution. there are lots of contractors who invested in training other construction workforce. the way it works, it's more conducive. it's across a geographic area
and multiple employers and you are not making the employment for upgrading skills trains and he or she gets a better offer and leaves you. we spread the risk on the training and operate where we can dispatch these people. i'm encouraged that we can meet demands. the mentality does not work. we are talking about human capital and earn as you learn. just like the manufacturing friends in the room. you don't produce a product unless you know there is a pipeline of demand. we don't recruit and train people unless there is jobs existing for them. when the bugle blows, we can do that and i'm confident of that. >> it's so important to gain the right public support. the other issue that keeps
coming up is the type of job relative to technology. we heard judy talking about the application of technology and the mayor talking about it and the type of infrastructure has so many more technology components to it. it is requiring different types of worker. maybe you can tell us what the association doing to train today's workforce to adapt to the smart technology applications. >> woe work quite closely with the manufacturers of the tools and products used in today's construction industry. if you were good to go in the training centers, you would see people on job sites dispatched with ipads and electronic devices.
the evolution of the industry. the construction is a little slower. how do we become more productive and efficient. we are building two nuclear plants in the south. one is for georgia power and southern company. we have about 6,000 people on that site today. the last one we built of that size and magnitude finishing up in the 80s, we had about three times the size of the workforce. the technology is involved and adapting in the industry and we are getting more efficient. we work with anybody and bring them into the training centers and work with them on their
tools and training in integrating it into the programs for journeyman upgrading or new trainees in our program. they're getting the latest in technology training as they are on the job sigte applying the technology. >> we talked about the way you adapted innovation to an 80-year-old asset and many older assets. what could other areas learn for what you have done? there is a host of infrastructure and the bridges and rail that is a very old asset that needs updating? what do other areas learn from you? >> it's a great question and one we think about a lot. water is one of the more bu
vulcanized. there is 53,000 facilities and 12 to 15,000 wastewater facilities. they have a good return on investment when you know what the project is, but it's not that portion. for a lot of them it's getting to the gate. this is where working with the chamber and the unions is how you create models that produce the up front cost of evaluating technologies and approaches. the up front transaction cost that gets to you a good moment is reduced. it tends to happen in the water sector. each place does it over and over again. the return on investment. everything we do with d.c. water, we are thinking of how we turn this into a model. everywhere treatment plant should generate power and if they had to do what we did, they
probably won't. even for a project that can return money to the investor, it's a cash positive project. by creating models and disseminating them through the chamber and the enterprises, i think that's the fastest way to drive innovation and structure investment. >> i think we are seeing and it's just like we said, public-private partnerships are real. we are building the bright line and the rail from west palm beach up to orlando. totally private. we have actually built hospitals and we heard the secretary talk about va hospitals in canada that are privately financed. it goes beyond tollroads which is where a lot of people go. it goes to water and the grid. every icon we see has potential for private-public partnerships.
now is the time to use models that have been successful and innovate nuance. >> that's a great point. we look at other developed countries where 10% is implemented through public and private partnerships in the u.s. it's 100%. we still have a lot of barriers to breakthrough. that is part of the solution and hopefully what we heard the sec tear say is the federal government is expecting to pass a bill that will facilitate private investment and unleash this capital. mary hancock, i'm interested in your thoughts of what is limiting other cities from implementing these infrastructure initiatives? what's limiting them from
achieving the hopes and dreams. >> i don't think i have been more inspired by water before. i enjoyed listening to you. i think a couple of things. to your point, we have a very aging infrastructure in this country. one in which before we can get to the point of implementing new exciting and and smarter and faster technology, we have to fix the infrastructure we have which has been neglected and mayors have come together under the mayors almost unanimously they called for working with the federal government to catch up. once we do that, i think we can see ourselves become much bolder and much more aggressive in terms of upgrading or engaging.
judith is correct. mayors across the country today, we will see much bolder with regard to public-private partnerships. they cannot address the aging infrastructure or the up greats to the infrastructure alone. you can think smarter and faster and bolder if we have private sector partners with us. we completed the align from downtown to dia because we had a private partner who helped us complete that process. you mentioned the station next. we are doing that in partnership with panasonic. we could not make the advances we are taking with looking at these technologies without a private partner. catching up with the aging in a infrastructure and finding the resources and fully engaging and moving forward with the public and private partnership was the next step and i believe next revolution with regards to infrastructure investment.
>> as our time is winding down, i want to thank the panelist. it really showed how the public and the private sector labor needs to coming to to solve the problem. we need great leadership from mayors and we need great leadership from the labor unions training the next generation of workers. this panel is a great example of how the public sector and private sector needs to come together to solve the problem. thank you.
>> we must do this. we can do this. state and local leaders are delivering plans for their communities. at the ballot box, voters are saying yes to infrastructure investments, but it's not enough. to close the gap, we need investments from all levels, federal, state, and local as well as the private seccor. the infrastructure challenges are national from the transcontinental railroad to the panama canal to the highway system. federal leadership transformed america. we need a national plan. now is the time to build a national plan. now is the time to build.
but we still need a national plan. our needs are national in scope and scale. i appreciate the secretary's comments because it demonstrates that they are looking for a collaborative approach for a federal plan. that's good for everyone. good morning. i'm the chair. a 103-year-old firm that worked with clients across the country to create and enhance our transportation infrastructure. there are promising signs at the federal, state, and local levels. we are seeing transportation higher than it has been in many, many years. in addition, states and cities have made significant commitments to fund major transportation investments. the november election, voters a proufed ballot measures that provide funding extensions and now funding for transportation
investments across the country. we are seeing more proposals every day. no doubt we must repair age and hard work and transportation assets. they are deficient and more broadly we must make investments so they leapfrog ahead and not just playing catch up to where we should have been. it's fitting with the compromise and consensus. that is exactly what it's going to take. we are fortunate to have a panel to take remarkable actions in the cities and states to build support and consensus. we have panelists who help us with the perspective and the public infrastructure. we are honored to have greg hughes, speaker of the utah house and the mayor of los
angeles and president and chief operating officer of the carlisle group. i would like to start with you. many groundbreaking things going on literally in los angeles. l.a. county implemented the largest local transportation investment program in the history of the united states. you like the way that sounds. >> i do. >> you are leveraging multisales tax measures. $120 billion over thirst plus years. what were the strategies you employed? you needed over 70% of the voters. >> thank you for being the moderator. this is great to be with you as well. thank you to all of you. thank you to donahue and the folks who are here. infrastructure outside of all of us is the least sexy thing to talk about. you get into it and realize how
amazing and important it is. it's difficult for those of us to say infrastructure and have the average american go awesome. once you talk about how long is it taking you to get home or get to your daughter to tuck her in or were you able to take that job or find a place to live or if an earthquake hits or the bridge you drive over, people can say this is talking about human health and quality of life. it's important for us to translate back down to that human scale. in los angeles to begin that, we realize los angeles has more roads than any city in america. the worst traffic in america. the number one port in america and the busiest airport in the nation. we have a lot of needs.
enough roads to go from los angeles to mumbai and back again to visualize the streets and it was crumbling and falling apart. what we started to do was went to the partners in the private sector and thank you to our support and the unions and more important low to a lot of stakeholders. folks like aarp talking about how difficult it is for seniors to get around because there is no public transportation system. young people and the advocates and people who may not be buying cars because they want ubers or lyfts or bicycles. we started listening to an approach and i'm mayor of a region that is 18 million in a county of 10 and created the connections and said look, if we are going to go to the ballot and california needed 2/3 vote, we better have a strong plan and trust and how to get bang for the buck. we tried to use the idea of
leverage and a combination of local and federal dollars and public and private dollars and something in it for everyone. not in the christmas tree, but things that worked in multiple motes of transportation and at the end of the day get you home to tuck your daughter into bet earlier. a couple of points behind, we switched the ad to an ad where i was driving in a car on a weekend saying here we are in rush hour traffic and the only problem it's saturday at noon. that hit people at a visceral level. here's the number of jobs and the billions of dollars and rail lines. that's how we talk about things. that's how engineers talk about it and real americans talk about it. >> let me go to speaker hughes.
i'm not the only person who noticed what has been accomplished under your leadership. they got the reputation of delivering big complex jobs very fast. you have been able to build extensions of light rail and commuter rail. you have a legislator and some might consider a red state would build consensus around creative transportation and infrastructure and proposals. >> it's also a pleasure to be here. >> the public servants, you will notice it's not restricted only to republicans or democrats. i have been in the legislature since 2002 and i was in the majority for two terms and second term as speaker of the house. i had an opportunity to serve on
our transit board. i was asked by the mayors that i lived in to serve on the board and said i may not be the best guy to serve and i don't know they buy into it. maybe it's an oversubsidized social service. i thought it was a cost leeway to move people. they said i think the board should have that perspective to know that's the climate that we are working in in utah. what i learned as a board member was the trips every year, the 40 million trips that were on light rail. it was displacing or delaying the failure happening on the roads to find the resources for and the tax money for to build and accommodate the growth that we are seeing.
fastest growing area since my time in the legislature and one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas as the mayor pointed out as well. i got a crash course and we had the big opening at your favorite school. side joke. it was a 30 or $40 million interchange and it was a big deal to get it built. the engineers will love it. they make sure your car is not going to the wrong way. the dot cabinet member mentioned to me in the ribbon cutting, we will hit fail our this freeway in about five years. did you hear that? that was the really what happened. that sound about sums it up.
i thought what a colossal -- it was hard to get the funding and to see that failure coming that quickly, just west of that was a commuter rail. i knew about it because i was on the board. that commuter rail has got to be phenomenally successful and we have to see rapid transit and things happening. we cannot have congestion failure on these interchanges in just five years. what we learned was and what i began to share is the multimodal infrastructure as a republican and as a proper role of government and the ability to provide it so that commerce can occur and quality of and people can get where they need to go. this is the role and what we do. we can't be married to just one mode. as policy makers, we can't just pick the winners of how people should get around.
i hate bicycles. i don't ride bicycles. they are all the rage. everybody loves bikes. put the bike lanes out there. even have the rental bikes that everyone loves. that's one less car in my way. that's one less car you have to find parker or structured park are for. all these modes is it's all hands on deck. every mode that the public wants to use. we want to provide. that was a learning experience for me as policy maker and done more because of our growth out of practicality. it's a necessity for us. bee have to find the other modes because we can't afford to go stagnant or see that grow. >> the question for both of you. how do we get the transit component and get more support across the country at a national level? it wanes at a high level. what can we do? >> the republicans are your
problem sometimes. they have the same mind set that i described before i went on the transit board. i think there is a paradigm shift. if you just have to say look, these roads and the rail and the bus rapid transit, they are not republican or democrat. they are essential. the problem is you can't put it on a flyer or you can't mail that the infrainstruct sur crushing crush i ing it. that's a big victory. i think what we have to do is have those conversations and particular low in areas that are growing. they are growing and you necessary a high growth state. your economy grows. the opportunity for public and private personship are the best.
when you go to hong kong, we don't have the density of the hong kong and the population, but the principals are the same. they don't put a dime of public dollars into their transit. it's paid for above the stations. more importantly the development that occurs and how when you show that, when you show the public and private partnership opportunities, you can start to break down the political walls we have seen. >> i would build on that. it's jobs and think about this administration. we have a ballooning sector and we have those in the top doing well.
what is that not needing college degree job? in los angeles, we have 450,000 jobs. somebody who lives by the rail lines can not only have a five-year job, but a 40-year career. we are fixing rapid transit and roads everywhere in the city. we love being open to global companies, but not a single one builds trains for them anymore. if we have a guarantee of that, i would say to a more republican leaning person, if you want nationalism, there is a central plank of something you can export, that little class blue
collar job and we are createing it in los angeles. we are getting this passed and think the last argument is everybody is getting more people. even red cities and blue cities alike will have more and more and more people. we just don't have the capacity. l.a. is the perfect example. woe have more land than anyone else. you can fit 15 american cities in our footprint, but we are more densely populated. it may not lock like it because we don't have as many skri scrapers. it's come coming to places where america continues to grow. if we don't compare it, it's a lot of traffic.
they are advocating for the financing and private investment and part of a national plan. this private sector has investments and we move forward. >> thank you. boy the way, thanks to the chamber for hosting the week around the country. i don't think there is a doubt in anybody awe mind how critical this question is. i think the tougher question is how in the world do we get past telling everyone how important it is? how do we get on with it? we have a graeme work that we have been told is coming over the next couple of weeks that is exciting. that will get taken up and turned into legislation.
they prioritize all of this. the number one question that comes out, how do you fund it? how do you fund it? the mayor and i were talking about that and he said funding is the biggest challenge. the private sector is up iffing all over the world. billions and billions of dollars everywhere around the world except for mere any n any large way. why is that? the primary reason is that there is not a systematic project or a systematic market yet in north america. in the united states. why? is it because every project is a snow flake? it has its own design and financing and approval process. as a result the private sector is trying hard to bid on the project struggles. the number one comment i made around the world.
they would love to invest in infrastructure, i don't know if it's going to happen. i don't know if it's going to happen in any scale. now, the president has talked about a trillion dollars of infrastructure spending need. think about it. $100 billion a year. that's all you have to do for 10 years. the bond market is a $3.8 trillion market. could you increase the financings by 10% a year? absolutely. there is $70 billion of private sector capital in infrastructure funds in north america ready to go. just waiting. the challenge is this money will go to australia, to southeast asia and to europe and canada. unless we get ourselves moving
here. my encouragement for all of us is to go go ahead and acknowledge, yes, infrastructure is a huge problem. what are we going to do? one of the challenges is we are trying to boil the ocean. i had a great mentor at the carlisle group for a long time who was a famous executive and leader. lou used to say guys, don't try to boil the ocean. pick things that are doo doable. i challenge us all to not find the most complicated projects and not find the perfect project, but projects that can get done. that can actual low be funded and find projects that we can use as templates to develop the market and unleash this capital that so much wants to invest in the united states. it's the best place in the world to invest. >>. >> i have to jump in one second.
i got permission. this is the summer games and the winder games more recently. we don't forget them and didn't salt lake city do a great job. they bring people together too. they opened up and we are extended it all the way. a 20 minute ride from the westside to downtown. faster than a car with no traffic. that's out there leading the secretary and they are approved by the administration and it could roll out and we bring over half the money for that final
extension and this would top us off to be able to get that done instead of in 2035 or 2024. it gets better. e lon musk who you don't want to bet against tweeted out that he thought the technology not been approved in a long time. this is high ly technical. where space ex-and tesla is in los angeles, he thinks you can get through it faster with different technology. even if you improved it by 10%, it's a huge added value. you have innoefvation and you have an office called the office
of extraordinary innovation. sounds like the department of magic. here's the snow flake we designed and bid on. that's not very fun for a company and much more expensive. if we say we are trying to get from here to there and elon musk with technology on the tunnelling or it's a great firm to do it faster and better and quicker. we have the x prize. millions of dollars of free r&d and when it gets executed we are better off. you need all four of those things. that money is waiting. you have to spend it in the right way and show you are innovating and show there is national and federal and local money. so to washington, policy makers and people couldn't influence
them, tom cochran is here and he a pointed me as the chair on infrastructure. we need to make sure they stay and make us accountable to get those dollars. >> we think about p-3s as the projects that are in the hot lane on the common wealth side of the beltway that are kind of green field. what we have seen about the world and invest in new projects is to liberate capital that is
trapped. the private sector thinks about having an enterprise value. public ownership thinks about annual proceeds and revenue. if we find a way to liberate. the infrastructure and redeploy it in new projects. the australian government has been the best at this most recently. in new south wales which is a state that sydney sits in, has about nine million people. they generated through the use of a recycling program of existing assets about 25 billion australian dollars in five years. redeployed that. when we think about funning, we
forget that the greatest sources we had is our existing asset base. i was pleased to hear the secretary mention that this morning. it's a tool kit. there will be lots of things that don't fit this exact model, but we have a lot of assets that do. private sector investing likes that and they can liberate value that can be redeployed boy you and you and others. >> you had p 3 legislations and you have this all hands on deck. what would you think is a balance. >> what we have done and the way we created the political will to make sure the projects you are looking at doing has the greatest effect. we got together the state dot and transit authority and the counties and the cities and
organization called envision utah. we had a collaborative effort saying okay, in the yore 2040, how many people are going to live in this area. how do you fit three million people in 130 mile range. you gone to show it you can't just do it. as you saw that effort take place for that regional plan. it starts to win down into the projects that you think you will be able to get the greatest leverage from. we have on the boxes, the development and the ability for our transit authority to participate in those. when we look at the gap of funding for where we need to be, it's a big gap. how do we close that gap? in 2015, the first time since 96
that we have been able to touch our gas tax. we are a red state and this is not what republicans do and their legislatures do. what happens with the unit tax is 24 cents a gallon buys less and less upon. you are not staying steady. because of this urgencey and those who have seen by 2040 and understand the gap that we have, we converted from a unit tax to a percentage. that is going to help us grow and that gas tax that used to in as recently as the 90s pay for expansion and doesn't do it now and we lean bonding and sales tax, it will have a stronger role and a gas tax that is revitalized. we developed the will to do that by understanding the longer range challenges that we were facing. we had to not boil the ocean.
we couldn't just say this is where we need to be then. we have to find the projects that will get us closer. the funding formulas and we have ia transportation task force this year. they are saying how can we on the funding side want to leverage $1, show me five ways you will use that dollar with transportation infrastructure. you will use the dollars for the projects that look at multimodal transportation of a structure. >> the secretary spoke earlier to get projects done faster. they will be more successful and you have the fastest billion dollar project ever delivered. the i 15 project and you put 70 miles of rail lines in 70 years under schedule and throw $00 million under budget.
what recommendation would you have as we start to think about a national plan. >> as a state on the i-15 corridor that goes through utah county which is one of the fastest growing in america, we use federal funds because of the time and the cost it would take. you would rather use official fund than to use them. we all can use those. here's what we did. we had both happening at the same time. we had the i-15 corridor happening at the same time we had the five lines. we had the ceo of the transit authority and the dot head or cabinet member. we would close down areas in the middle of the night and
coordinate efforts and leverage projects making sure that what we were doing was benefiting both projects in terms of savings and efficiency. adults fighting over those systems. they were 300 million and 200 million on the road and rail under budget and why the project came in in december of 12. those silos didn't see each other as competitors or working against one another. u dot and uta worked together. they saw their projects as essential and we brought the savings to the taxpayer. we saw hundreds of millions of dollars of savings and they were brought online quicker. it was essential low a
collaborative effort. you have to break down the silos and so that done in a collaborative way. when you do that, right now, carlos, on the freeways he has the electronic signs. for cleaner air, use transit. me how many dot people are using transit on the interstates. how often is that happening? i don't think it happens often, but in our state we are trying to find that success. >> mayor, i know you put a lot of thought into a national plan and you have been communicating some of that as we look forward to the main components you think we should include. >> it's four fold and i will collapse them to three. it's the infrastructure incentive. i will be testifying about this tomorrow. essentially you need first and foremost to leverage each other. federal government needs to leverage federal government. the days of a state or a city
showing up with an empty hat and think you will have a single dollar are over. with a hat that is half filled, trust me, this happened in the last years with republican congress, democratic president. you can leave with that hat filled all the way to finish your project. second component, we have to think about the life of projects. i was sat to see the fatality on mass transit and shut down because the money goes in and we as politicians love building things and we don't love maintaining things. whether it was in boston or a smoking car and somebody had to kick the window out to save themselves. up in the bay area of california where folks were trying to get a maintenance measure passed because they built all the stuff. here when you are building things, the maintenance is
almost nothing. you need a steady stream of funding. what was fascinating about when we did measure m, we did focus groups and i think the speaker will say when you do focus groups, what if it's a 10-year tax. you have a a better shot. it was the inverse. we were blown away. the longer we said it lasted, the support went up more and more. we asked them why and they got it at a gut level which was they said it's like our schools. you don't do a 10-year tax. this is something we need and we will need forever. we don't want them trying to figure out grandpa got it done, but they left us nothing to maintain and continue building. our measure m is a permanent tax increase. you may think we are a liberal place, but 2/3 necessity. third is p throw. it gets back to leverage into one. it's leverage of the private
sector. i think i spelled out why that is important. since we opened up that office, we got different rail lines and one will be one of the most expensive revamps of the sepulveda pass and that gave us a bigger sponge to throw into the ocean and it's water logged. we had companies lineup to do really innovative ways to bring the capital and the engineering and the ideas to get that done. the man who heads up the metro came from denver and we got permission to steal them. they put in the ground everything you need to do. it got done at 75% of the cost years early.
this is a revolutionary moment in transportation technology. to ariel to ride share to what elon is doing with foreign companies. this is a moment which there is more innovation. it is mostly being applied to other plays. we sent technology is build up on the capacity with other parts of the world. you should continue to innoefate and those three things have referaged innovation and incentive. >> the last question. what we are seeing is this is a
red state. you have been able to do this on both sides of the political spectrum. if you make one recommendation, what do they need to do to build the consensus? >> we said it back stage and i will repeat it. we had a mini session before. republicans stop thinking you can do this through leverage. democrats stop thinking you can do it all through grants. we need both. this will go the way of the health care fight. people go to their camps and muscle it out and be upset. this is an area where america is united. i love what speaker ryan is saying. democrats need to stop being paranoid and given to corporations.
we are doing it in the blue city and republicans need the idea they can only do that in the private market place. things we need to build and keep the grants coming. it's not washington's money. let l.a. take our tax dollars back. if we want transit and salt lake wants transit and another place wants only roads, but give us our money back. they are available for all of us. hearing those things out would set us back. that's all you hear with the talking heads every night. in the multimodal transpoefrtation infrastructure and as elected officials to show your constituents that you can build trust and work together and the perfect doesn't have to be the enemy of good and you are moving the needle.
if there is any space where that can occur in the most overlap and the low hanging fruit is the greatest. and the impact is the greatest. we have to have that conversation to get people to drop the silos, this is a win for everyone and everyone can join in and say we are doing right by the constituents we represent. let's take advantage of that. >> thank you very much. >> i would like this panel to go on for another three hours. this is a perfect example of collaboration and compromise. what they have been doing is a model for this country. if we can do this here, we can do it across the country. at a national level as well.
>> i'd just like to say a few words in closing. what a perfect way to start off restructure week 2017. i'm john hopkins, u.s. chambers chairman of the board this year, and it was an honor to be here. what i'd like to do just to close out is to say a few words as it relates to thanks and also some of the salient points i heard. obviously, we've heard from a great list of panelists and speakers. we also have -- i'd like to thank the infrastructure week steering committee and sponsors for their hard work and support, as well as the dedicated staff that works year round to make this a success. finally a big thank you for all of you attending today. you've heard a lot of comments and ideas. hopefully you'll take that out in the city and to the nation and keep this course going forward. i'd also like to -- you know,
this isn't just about infrastructure day. we have a full week here going ahead with 100 events around the country, as was mentioned, and to keep the conversation going. in a larger sense, this isn't about infrastructure day or infrastructure week, it's about infrastructure 2017 and beyond. takeaway i heard from panelists and speakers this morning, some of them, i like what jay timmons from the manufactures, we just heard from clen youngkin from carlisle group. it's time to talk the talk. how many years have we been talking about infrastructure going forward and the needs of infrastructure in this country, and yet now's the time to do it. just in a recap of what i've heard from a few of the panelists today and speakers, infrastructure modernization is about economic growth. infrastructure is fundamental to every major function of our country.
updating and upgrading better businesses, economic access for consumers, and faster trading of goods. it will also mean jobs in the short term and the long term. we heard from labor today. we heard a gentleman talk about, yes, nuclear power plant in south carolina that's got 6,000 jobs. well, there's another one of those in georgia that's also creating 6,000 jobs. infrastructure is the ultimate investment we can make in our economy, and that means all of us have to take a stake in this debate. second, let's spread the word that modernization is about innovation and new technology. we heard secretary chow open up this morning talking about technologies, creativity, all being led by safe and being safer, and we heard that and that permeated this morning, as well, through most of the analysts -- most of the panelists. if not building a smarter, safer, tomorrow. this is something i'm passionate about. i had a great career with a
company that's in the engineering construction business and we built infrastructure projects all over the world. we're engaged in building the bay bridge. we're doing the tappan zee bridge in new york. we built high-speed trains in the netherlands and also were involved as a prime contractor in denver for the train system there. and when i left the company i was with, i was in my mid 50s, it was just a few years ago. i got involved in a new technology, innovative technology, that i had to get my head around. it's about a small module nuclear reactor, yes, nuclear, but they are small. and the passion for me was looking at global energy requirements going forward and also the energy requirements for desal anization. i recently had the minister of trade from singapore come in and look at our product and in less than 32 acres i can provide enough electricity and potable water in singapore to generate
electricity and potable water for over 400,000 homes. yeah, we've got a way to go. i have $600 million invested in this product, but it is about commercial viability, it's about safety, it's about world energy requirements going forward. however, without doing that, i mean, in order to do that, we need to modernize our energy infrastructure in this new capacity. just like it's important that our nation has the infrastructure to handle autonomous vehicles, next generation aircraft, and the growing need for broadband access. we can't rely on 20th century infrastructure to sustain a 21st century economy. we just heard about collaboration, compromise, and consensus. we need to have that in place. we also heard today that there's republicans, democrats, and independents probably sitting in this room and that's how it should be done. all of us need to get together and get legislation passed. we cannot allow infrastructure
modernization to die at the hands of political bickering, not when every american stands to gain so much. and not when there is room for consensus. let's constructively to our coworkers, employees, and neighbors about this. let's organize, educate, and advocate, and together we'll make our voices heard to all of washington that we expect action. in closing, i'd like to thank you again for joining us for infrastructure week kickoff. you can learn more about it. there's infrastructureweek.org. that's infrastructureweek.org, they'll talk about the remainder of the week events going on. and we can also encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas through social media at #timetobuild. that's #timetobuild. and, ladies and gentlemen, it's a good kickoff for this week and the remainder of the year. i thank you for coming and, again, appreciate it. [ applause ]